The Zen of Affiliate Marketing or How to Make More Money with Less Associate Programs

I remember when I first started online, more than a decade ago. I heard it wasn’t that hard to make money online. You just have to join a couple of affiliate programs, blast your site with a few ad codes and banners, and then sit back on the beach, and wait for money to roll in. Super easy and fun, isn’t it?

I quickly found out that the more associate programs you join, the more money you can potentially make. So, I was subscribing to a dozen networks and joining new programs all day long. I once counted them: a whopping 18 programs I was a member of  – all joined within the same month.

Does it ring a bell?

And guess what? My site was about one topic, and here I was advertising another thing. When you join non relevant programs as I did, you dilute your traffic and send the merchant completely untargeted traffic… that’s one of the main reasons you’re not making the sale.

I also “learned” (or should I say I was misled) that the more sites you have, the more money you make. So I built my first one. I waited a month…

End result?

Zero money.

Then I built a second, and a third.

Within a year, I had about 20 sites and 29 domain names registered, all making me under $10 a month. I was in big debts, and couldn’t figure out the “secret” to making money online.

Until one day…

I am curious by nature, so I wanted to know how others were making their money (which is a model for success, if done right). For a while, all I did was just read. Premium Forums and ebooks that I’d paid for were my main sources of information.

Later I found out that I was lead by the blind and people who never did what they taught.

I met a guy with a huge website: Allan Gardyne, a super affiliate known in the industry. He was my mentor through his website back in the early days. He taught me the power of a few… He told me to join one program and build one website, and stick to it. In other words, you have to drive at least 1,000 unique and relevant visitors, and then track your conversion.

My “failed” model was generating 100 (non relevant) visitors to the associate programs I was promoting, then moving to the next one… no wonder I was making no money.

And I had no clue what conversion is, nor how to “track” it.

He also showed me how to make one site with a site builder for newbies, rank it on Google, and make some money; then he taught me the BIG secret… re-investing the funds back into the same site, or build a new one. That’s how revenue grows…

What a breakthrough!

Less is more…

Once I learned all this, I started making money… $1 a day… $5 a day, weeks later. Within a year, I was making $100 a day, and growing. I had a dozen mini sites making me money.

Outsourcing is the oxygen to your business…

I was still not happy. Although I was making $3k a month, the money I was generating was not enough to live a life of freedom. I wanted not to just live comfortable, but I wanted to be able to never worry about going back to a JOB again.

You’re not building a business just to put money on the table. You want lots more out of it than that, yes?

You want to be able to take a month off, and live on an exotic island. You want to be able to leave for 3 months, maybe starting another business, or buying land and building houses, scuba diving, or whatever… while your online business is still running like clockwork.

I dreamed about creating such a lifestyle for myself, but couldn’t see how to make it happen, until I learned about the second BIG secret from another guy who walked his talk… outsourcing!

That was the other breakthrough that made a BIG difference in my business.

You see. I was writing almost 50 articles a day, all by myself. I was building the blogs, installing the plugins, updating my content, and link-building, everything under one roof.

Some would say I was insane – always glued to the computer like some mad man… and they weren’t far from the truth. But when you have a mission to pay the bills, and your kids are crying for attention (not just food), you have no other option but to make it through, and build a business for freedom.

I knew I wasn’t going to remain a slave to my computer forever, or build a business where I was working in it like slave, like in my earlier jobs.

Top affiliates know the power of freelancing… They also know the power of outsourcing. Only when you work on the business, and managing your team of writers and link builders, are you able to take off weeks and months for whatever needs to be done. Then when you come back and see your business in a better position than you left it, you know that outsourcing is KEY.

That my friends is a freedom sustaining business, built through the power of simplicity, consistency and re-investing.

Too many affiliates are making it complicated, sporadically doing things and yet – they never invest the money they’re earning. That’s the “failure” mode you have to leave behind, and embrace the new model instead.

Q: Did you ever look at affiliate marketing from the ZEN standpoint?

Did you ever think to focus on just one associate program, take one site to $100 a day, and then move to something else?

I’m waiting for your comments… let’s learn from each others’ experiences. I’ve told you about some of the things I’ve had to go through, to become the business man I am today. Now it’s time to share with me your story…

“I’m Not a Businessman; I’m a Business, Man!” ~ Jay Z.

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5 thoughts on “The Zen of Affiliate Marketing or How to Make More Money with Less Associate Programs

  1. Very true! I used to promote a lot of affiliate products but as soon as you focused on just a handful I started making more money. Good tips John, thanks for sharing.

  2. I am a virgining beginner and I enjoyed your article very much. While I have a domain name my site is not up and running. I am an Amazon affiliate but have not gotten that set up fully. Your article speaks to me specifically, I read alot and am always inspired, and I am looking forward to reading the free ebook. Thank you for the article and thank you for the site it is a real help for viringing beginners like me.

  3. Thanks for this, my problem is finding a niche to talk about. I am trying to find long tail keywords with 2000 – 3000 global searches and less than 13K google searches. Any tips?

  4. Yes, yes, yes. I hit 4 figures a month (after many failures) promoting 1 product that sold well. That’s when the whole affiliate marketing thing clicked.

  5. HELLO JON, Today I hope to be joining into a new program. After being scamed,conned, money taken right out of my bank account online. I took a break for a Month to think about this whole I.M. to make money.. I know I need to focus on one thing at a time. I listen and learn from only those whom I know I can trust. And your’re at the top of my list. I really appreciate all you’re doing for people like me. I’ve been so all over the place with all of this I.M. programs, way to long. Following your steps is the best way to go. Your inspiring to a lot of people. GOD BLESS YOU. Thanks again, ~Christine~

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